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Manx Grand Prix
MGP News
Main Classes Oversubscribed 2 July 2004

Entries have now been fully analysed and show a final total of 367, of which 350 were accepted. Last year 377 entries were received of which 361 were accepted. The slight fall in numbers comes mainly in the newcomers' classes, where there is a drop of 17. But that is almost made up for by an increase of 14 in the Senior Classic.

The main racing classes have held up well, with substantial over-subscription for the Junior. There will be full grids for both the 750cc Senior and 600cc Junior races (116 and 115 respectively ­ precisely the same as last year).

In the Senior Classic, numbers are up from 89 to 103, but the concurrently-run 350cc Junior and 250cc Lightweight Classic is down from 110 to 99, with the split showing the Junior class five fewer at 70 and the Lightweight six fewer at 29.

The concurrently-run 250cc Lightweight and 125cc/400cc Ultra-Lightweight has 100 entries compared to 108 last year, with the split showing 27 in this year's Lightweight (33 last year) and 73 in the Ultra-Lightweight (75 last year).

The 750cc Newcomers' has 41 riders (44 last year) and the 125/400cc section 17 (21 last year). Only one entry was received for this year's 250cc Newcomers' race and it has therefore been dropped.

There is a possibility of the fastest ever TT rider taking part in the Manx! Morecambe's John McGuinness has provisional entries for the 350cc and 500cc Classic races. He looks likely to have to miss the 500 by opting for a further outing on the Hawk Kawasaki on which he has distinguished himself deputizing for injured Glen Richards in British Superbike Championship. Although Richards is now fit to team back up with Scott Smart, it is believed McGuinness might be offered a third machine for the Cadwell Park round which is the same day as the Senior Classic MGP Bank Holiday Monday August 30th. However, McGuinness might be able to practice in the Island before Cadwell, then return to the Island for the 350cc Classic on Wednesday September 1st. He lapped at 127.68mph on a 1000cc R1 Yamaha on the first lap of the Formula One TT a few weeks ago.

Previous winners in this year's line-up include John Goodall (1983 Senior Classic), Alan Bennie (2002 Ultra Lightweight), Dave Hughes (1972 Senior), Roy Richardson (1997 Junior and 2002 and 2003 Lightweight Classic), Eddie Byers (1984 Senior Newcomers), Bud Jackson (1986 Junior and 1991, 1995 and 1998 Lightweight Classic), Seamus Greene (2000 750 Newcomers), Norman Kneen (2003 Lightweight), Andy Jackson (1991 Junior Newcomers) and Maria Costello will be back at the Manx­ this time not only as fastest MGP female but as fastest female of all on the Snaefell Mountain Course. At this year's TT she overtook Sandra Barnett by lapping at 114.73mph in the 1000cc Production Race. Her MGP fastest so far is 113.52mph. This year's other female entries are: Elle Forrest, Gail Musson and Carolynn Sells.

The top four fastest riders in the Classic classes will be missing this year. Bob Heath stood down a couple of years ago, and was joined last year by Bill Swallow. Between them they won a total of 20 Classic races, with Heath the overall fastest at 106.74mph from the 1997 Senior. Swallow was next quickest at 106.41mph from the 2000 Senior, with Classic World Champion Glen English third at 106.21mph also in the 2000 500cc race. Then came Bob Jackson at 105.78mph in 1997. So it looks like being down to Alan Oversby to lead the way. The talented Carnforth rider led last year's Senior until his engine blew up at Doran's Bend on lap two having lapped at 105.77mph from a clutch start.

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